The Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) has been awarded a $500 grant for its community garden from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening’s Gro More Grassroots Grant initiative.
This grant will assist the JDC garden program with achieving its 2019 goals, including adding additional raised beds and containers, a vertical garden, fruit trees and berry bushes, and additional seating. The garden program’s vision is to create a diverse hands-on teaching venue that will be a therapeutic environment for residents and staff.
“We’re very excited to receive this grant and use it to expand the garden. It’s been a wonderful addition to the facility, and staff and residents alike gain enjoyment from having it on site,” says JDC Superintendent Brian Brown.
The JDC garden was created in August 2018 by a team of Master Gardeners. The garden’s initial focus was to provide a hands-on gardening experience for JDC residents, but it quickly evolved into a year-round program with gardening lessons and activities during the growing season and classroom instruction during the winter months. The garden program is maintained by a team of Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteers, and it serves approximately 700 residents age 10 to 18 who pass through the JDC each year.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening’s Gro More Grassroots Grant seek to connect children with the life-enhancing and transformative benefits of gardening. This year, 175 gardens were awarded a collective $100,000 throughout the United States.
Helen Rortvedt, Executive Director of KidsGardening, says “We see how gardening improves kids’ lives every day. The Gro More Grassroots Grant allows us to give thousands of children the opportunity to play, learn, and grow in the garden, sparking a curiosity and wonder that will last a lifetime.”
For more information on the KidsGardening program, visit https://kidsgardening.org/.